Selected readings on US charter schools
Path Academy, the second of the two state charter schools approved last year by the State Department of Education, will open its doors in August, with the specific mission of serving Windham and Willimantic’s “over-age, under-credited” students.
As the Norwich Bulletin reported, with a few months to go, the school announced its location, taking over a Willimantic YMCA building that has been vacant since the 1990s.
The school will open with a little help from a federal grant, awarded last October, by the U.S. Department of Education.
“Effective charter schools continue to offer bright ideas and viable solutions to challenges facing the education system,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “The schools can be laboratories of innovation in teaching and learning for students, parents and teachers.”
The $585,800 award represents 12.9 percent of the schools three-year start-up and implementation budget.
“OPP is so excited about bringing this new resource to this community,” according to Bob Rath, president and CEO of Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), which will serve as the charter management organization for Path Academy.
“We appreciate the support from the Windham region over the last 18 months as we’ve been working to develop the model together to ensure that community needs are met.”
The stated mission of the school is to combat the region’s drop-out rate, which, at Windham High School, is about 40 percent, according to the Bulletin.
“OPP will bring their considerable talent to bear in Windham, with the newly approved and funded Path Academy,” Jeremiah Grace of the Northeast Charter Schools Network wrote after the school was approved by the State Board of Education. The school is designed to serve the most at-risk high-school students in a troubled area known for its rural poverty and large non-English-speaking population.
But beyond that goal, local officials are seeing the school as a way to revitalize the city’s downtown area.
“We’re really excited about the project,” Matt Vertefeuille, director of code enforcement for Windham told The Bulletin. “We’re excited it’s going to be one more restored building and we’re excited it’s going to be people downtown shopping and eating at other local businesses.”
OPP says the school will be open to students from the Norwich, Lebanon, Chaplin and Scotland school districts.
Source: CT ED News